• Mr. D Posted: 3/10/2009 12:07pm PDT

    "Smart Moves"

    Ford is proving that when it sat in on that hearing with Congress, it was basically there to provide moral support to Chrysler and GM. It is a reason that they are not begging with hat in hand for a lifeline. Ford is largely making smart moves to stay in the game. One such move was licensing the Hybrid Synergy Drive system from Toyota to create the Escape, Fusion, and Mariner hybrids. This allowed them to build a bridge now to carry them into the future. GM was smart enough to do this with the Pontiac Vibe. Second was leveraging Mazda to provide the platforms for the Euro Focus and Fusion. Third, was leveraging Volvo to provide the platform for the Taurus and MKS. In addition, Ford is finally delivering, for instance with the Fusion, on its slogan that "quality is job one". GM and Chrysler could take some lessons here, even Consumer Reports have recognized this. Outside of the Pontiac Vibe, which is a Toyota Matrix derivative, you would be hard pressed to find a GM model with a predicated reliability rating any where near above average. Furthermore, I hope that when the upcoming Fiesta is built here it comes with an option for the about 65 mpg highway rated diesel engine that will be available in the European version. I also hope that Ford retains a significant interest in Volvo. To increase Volvo's chance at making a profit in this country, Volvo vehicles could be built in Ford idle plants or Ford plants that could use the capacity.

  • Mr. D Posted: 3/10/2009 12:21pm PDT

    "Better Moves"

    Ford should get rid of those temporary spare tires and provide full size spare tires across the board. Also, the money spent on developing the capless fuel filler neck would have been better spent on installing locking fuel filler doors across the product line. This is because the need to make sure that no one drops foreign objects into the tank or steals our fuel is greater than the convenience provided in filling the tank up. Furthermore, the Escape interior is overdue for a quality upgrade, and that electric steering system needs more road feel or feedback.

  • John V Posted: 3/11/2009 6:47am PDT

    "And don't forget ..."

    ... the Mazda Tribute Hybrid as well!

  • Matt Posted: 3/11/2009 10:01am PDT

    "ford did not use the toyota hybird system"

    They developed their own hybrid tech independently of Toyota's work. Because there are only so many ways to skin a cat, ford licensed some of the patents involved with the toyota system to avoid any future legal problems. toyota also licensed some of fords patents on diesel engine technology at the same time for the same reasons. To state that ford is using the toyota synergy drive is untrue.

  • Mr. D Posted: 3/11/2009 12:56pm PDT

    "Splitting Hairs"

    Okay Matt, to be absolutely correct, as you state Ford licensed some of the patents involved with the Toyota system. That is, for instance, to operate on electric power only, gas only, or a combination of gas and electric. Ford then used its own engine and continuously variable transmission. My point was that Toyota was the one to put this concept into production under the moniker Hybrid Synergy Drive. Ford utilized this technology or as you say licenses to produce a vehicle using this technology and adding components. Nissan did the same thing with the Altima Hybrid, Toyota technology with a Nissan engine and continuously variable transmission. Therefore, using these licenses, for which Ford and Nissan pay for, were smart moves.